Monday, October 18, 2004

Renée Fleming delivers high E's
in Spain and Portugal

I was at the Met's "La Traviata" in NYC earlier this year, and
imagine my shock when Renée Fleming blatantly skipped
the optional high E-flat at the end of "Sempre Libera."

Of course, she's got the notes, so perhaps she had been
them for her current Iberian tour. In concert appearances
both in Spain and Portugal, the soprano has offered the
optional, fearless high-E *natural* at the end of the bolero
from "Vespri Siciliani."

I'm sure I'm not the only one left wondering if she'll take
the optional high note at the end of "Happy Birthday to You"
next January, when she flies into town for Michael Tilson
Thomas' star -studded birthday concert.

More seriously, Madame Fleming received decent and I'm
sure well deserved praise for her overall performances. But
consistent with her appearance at the SF Opera's opening
night gala, she was also panned by Iberian critics for her
rendition of the two arias from Handel's "Rodelinda." This
does not bode well for her upcoming attempt of the role at
the Met this season.

From Madrid's "La Razon":

> Empezó con dos arias de «Rodelinda» de Haendel,
> que no la iban nada, con la voz fría, áspera y
> coloraturas de andar por casa.

From Lisbon's "O Publico" (requires subscription):

> A principal alteração, correspondente ao novo
> disco e à rodagem para a próxima estreia no papel
> titular de "Rodelinda", foi a inclusão a abrir de
> duas árias dessa ópera de Haendel. ... Não foi
> uma troca feliz.


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